KeyArena at Seattle Center, is a multipurpose arena, in Seattle, Washington. It is located north of downtown in the 74-acre entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, the Century 21 Exposition. It is used for entertainment purposes, such as concerts, ice shows, circuses, and professional wrestling events.
It has a seating capacity for basketball games of 17,072, ice hockey games and ice shows 15,177, end-stage concerts is 16,641, and center-stage concerts and boxing 17,459. Risers hold 7,440 on the upper level and up to 7,741 on the lower level, with luxury suites adding another 1,160 seats.
The arena’s current primary tenants are the Seattle University men’s basketball team and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. The Seattle University Redhawks men’s basketball team are currently the arena’s longest serving tenant, having played in the arena from 1963–1980 and 2009 to present. Rat City Rollergirls of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association have been a tenant since 2009.
KeyArena was also home to the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics and the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. On July 2, 2008, the Oklahoma City based ownership group of the SuperSonics reached a settlement deal with the City of Seattle, releasing the team from the last two years of their lease with the city and allowing the team to relocate to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 NBA season. After 41 seasons in Seattle, the team became the Oklahoma City Thunder and the owners agreed to leave the SuperSonics name, logo, and colors in Seattle for a possible future NBA franchise. The Thunderbirds, who had called the KeyArena home for 32 years, followed the SuperSonics out the door at the end of 2008 for a new arena in nearby Kent.
KeyArena is the first publicly financed arena in the area fully supported by earned income from the building.
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